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Biomic Specialization and Speciation Rates in Ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): A Test of the Resource-Use Hypothesis at the Global Scale

AuthorsCantalapiedra, Juan L. ; Hernández Fernández, M. ; Morales, Jorge
Cambio climático
Especialización ecológica
Issue DateDec-2011
CitationPLoS ONE 6(12): e28749
AbstractThe resource-use hypothesis proposed by E.S. Vrba predicts that specialist species have higher speciation and extinction rates than generalists because they are more susceptible to environmental changes and vicariance. In this work, we test some of the predictions derived from this hypothesis on the 197 extant and recently extinct species of Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia) using the biomic specialization index (BSI) of each species, which is based on its distribution within different biomes. We ran 10000 Monte Carlo simulations of our data in order to get a null distribution of BSI values against which to contrast the observed data. Additionally, we drew on a supertree of the ruminants and a phylogenetic likelihood-based method (QuaSSE) for testing whether the degree of biomic specialization affects speciation rates in ruminant lineages. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the resource-use hypothesis, which foretells a higher speciation rate of lineages restricted to a single biome (BSI = 1) and higher frequency of specialist species in biomes that underwent high degree of contraction and fragmentation during climatic cycles. Bovids and deer present differential specialization across biomes; cervids show higher specialization in biomes with a marked hydric seasonality (tropical deciduous woodlands and schlerophyllous woodlands), while bovids present higher specialization in a greater variety of biomes. This might be the result of divergent physiological constraints as well as a different biogeographic and evolutionary history.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028749
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